Warren Returns to the Court, Along with a Whole Lot of Buckets

T.J. Warren Jr.
by Cody Cunningham

While T.J. Warren’s initial return was cut short, the man known as Tony Buckets got back to what he does best on Tuesday night, getting buckets. 

Warren scored 23 points in 24 minutes of action and the Phoenix Suns had their second-leading scorer back on the court. With Devin Booker still sidelined, it was crucial for the team to get Warren back and healthy as the duo is averaging a total of 40.9 points per game. 

“He’s a scoring machine,” Deandre Ayton said about Warren. “He’s our silent killer and one of our main guys coming back from injury and is going to help us out.”

While scoring has always been Warren’s forte, the extension of his shot to beyond the arc has put his offensive game on a whole ‘nother level. 

Heading into last night’s game, Warren was shooting a career-best 44.4 percent from three. This was a 22.2 percent growth from last season and is the largest improvement from a previous year in NBA history. 

Head Coach Igor Kokoškov knows just how important it is to have Warren back out on the court and how much he brings night-in and night-out. 

“We love his game,” Kokoškov said. “When he’s aggressive and is being himself, he’s a huge help for our team. 

Not only has Warren added another element to his game, but he has remained one of the most efficient players in the league. He joins two-time MVP Steph Curry as the only players in the NBA this season shooting over 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three and 85 percent from the free throw line (minimum 50 attempts). 

“It’s a testament to the work I put in,” Warren said. “I really wanted to lock-in and really focus on it. Seeing where the league is going, just wanted to challenge myself and prove to myself that if I put my mind to it, I can do it.” 

Warren and the Suns tip-off against the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Be sure to catch the action on TNT. 

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